Summer 2024

Daily Devotional: Friday, December 23 - The Gift Of Christmas

“But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.'” — Luke 2:10-11

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Everywhere you look these days, the spirit of giving is in the air. Families and friends are sending cards of warm greetings and love. Loved ones are exchanging gifts of value and meaning with others in their lives.

Gift-giving has long been a part of the Christmas tradition, with a continually growing emphasis in America on the size and quantity of gifts. Giving gifts to people we love is not a bad thing; it’s an expression of love and affection that can build relationships. However, a question I wish to ask is, “When is the last time you gave someone whether someone you know or someone you don’t the gift of a story? The Christmas story, to be exact?”

See, the Christmas story is a gift, as it is the story of a loving, Holy God sending His Son to a broken world, where He was fully God and fully human, serving and loving until He was crucified to provide payment for the sin of all who believe in Him. Yes, it’s a story that has many twists and turns, but I sincerely invite you to share the miracle of it with the same neighbors, friends and family to whom you send cookies, cards and other presents.

The story of Christmas, meaning the story of Jesus coming to earth as a baby born of the virgin Mary, exceeds the wonder of any story that will ever be told. Its outcome was foretold in prophesy for generations prior, laying out exactly the events that would take place. As they happened, God the Holy Spirit meticulously recorded in the Bible His movements in a variety of unusual characters shepherds, elderly people, ordinary folks of no prestige. God laid the foundation for the greatest miracle ever in a humble place, using humble people as actors while His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, defeated the penalty of sin and death on the cross.

It’s a beautiful, incredible story, right? What makes it even more incredible is that God is still working this Christmas season of 2022. He is still working to use humble people in missions, shelters and schools to serve His children who have lost their way. He is still using the talents of the overlooked in our society to bring utter joy in situations that are seemingly devoid of it. He is still using characters with little prestige or notice, like the shepherds, to share the story that Jesus Christ is here, as the Light of the World, to seek and save the lost.

In this season, spend your time reflecting on what the story of Christmas means to you — how it’s a story of God working to enact change in the lives of broken people, starting with you and me. Spend time reflecting on the sheer immensity of His gift His Son, the One He greatly loved — because of how much He loves you. Spend time reflecting on the people you love who don’t know this story, and then think of how you can give them the gift of telling them about your relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ this Christmas season.

I place my life upon this statement: There is no greater gift than living in a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, for now and for eternity.

— Jon Oglesby

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